Tuesday Penguins Playoff Report

Olli Maatta’s return to the lineup for Game 1 will send Ben Lovejoy back to the press box which won’t be shocking to anyone.

The question with Maatta has been, where should he play?

Trevor Daley and Kris Letang were extremely productive together as a pair over the final couple weeks of the season. When Daley and Letang were on the ice together, Pittsburgh controlled 56% of their 5 v 5 shot attempts with a 2.78 Goals/60 and 1.38 Goals Against/60. There was no surprise that the Penguins drove possession with those two as a pairing but the two were a little better defensively together than expected.

Penguins coaches, though, believe Daley is better on the right side which makes the decision of where play Olli Maatta an easy one.

Maatta in today’s practice saw the bulk of reps with Kris Letang a clear sign he’s going to play there on Wednesday night.

While a notoriously slow starter when coming back from injury, the Penguins in a perfect situation would probably like to limit Maatta’s minutes a bit, but if the Penguins are going to play Maatta, there’s no other choice but to play him in the top-4.

Ian Cole and Justin Schultz just aren’t suited to be over-taxed and play more than a third pairing role.


While opinions are flying among some in the media that Marc Andre Fleury doesn’t look right and shouldn’t play [hide], the man has been cleared to play.

Only Marc Andre Fleury knows whether he feels right or not and he’s given the Penguins every indication that he feels really good.

Today was another positive step in the right direction for Fleury who participated fully in the practice, dealing with traffic in front of the net, getting bumped a few times, and also manned the net vs the No. 1 power play unit.

If the Penguins had any doubt that Fleury won’t at least dress as the No. 2 in the Game 1, Tristan Jarry would have sure seen a lot more pucks than he saw through the 50 minute practice which was — zero –.


Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin – Nick Bonino – Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl – Matt Cullen – Eric Fehr
Tom Sestito – Oskar Sundqvist – Conor Sheary
Extra: Beau Bennett

Defensive Pairs

Olli Maatta – Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin – Trevor Daley
Ian Cole – Justin Schultz
Extra: Derrick Pouliot – Ben Lovejoy

No. 1 Power Play Unit

Phil Kessel – Patric Hornqvist – Sidney Crosby
Kris Letang – Trevor Daley

Did Not Practice: Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Evgeni Malkin [/hide]